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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L016206/1
Title: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Innovative Metal Processing IMPaCT
Principal Investigator: Dong, Professor H
Other Investigators:
McCartney, Emeritus Professor DG Dong, Professor H Voisey, Dr KT
Gill, Professor SPA
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Aero Engine Controls Alstom Group Delft University of Technology
Doncasters Group Ltd European Powder Metallurgy Association ISIS
Rolls-Royce Plc (UK) Ruhr University Bochum Tata Steel
TWI Ltd Welding Alloys Ltd
Department: Engineering
Organisation: University of Leicester
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 April 2014 Ends: 31 March 2023 Value (£): 3,205,827
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design & Testing Technology Manufacturing Machine & Plant
Materials Processing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Oct 2013 EPSRC CDT 2013 Interviews Panel F Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Metal processing is a vital component of manufacturing. Manufacturing is the third largest sector in the UK economy and in 2010 manufacturing in the United Kingdom accounted for 8.2% of the workforce and 12% (£150 billion in gross value added) of the country's national output. However, manufacturing's share of nominal GDP has fallen from over 22 per cent in 1990 and there is a clear trend in low value, high volume manufacturing moving to developing countries while in the UK the higher technology areas generate the better gross value added returns. The future growth of the sector is dependent on its ability to design and make the high value products. In large part, it is the high quality knowledge base and skilled technical workforce that make for a successful transformation from a resource and labour-intensive to a knowledge-intensive sector and ensure that high technology metal industries flourish in the UK.

An important aspect of supporting high-value manufacturing in the UK is the PhD training of young researchers. However, it has been pointed out by many companies in the UK that the lack of well-trained materials engineers remains a concern for high value manufacturing industry. Indeed, in 2013 the UK Border Agency identified "metallurgist" as one of the 10 most wanted job titles in the Codes of Practice for Skilled workers.

In this proposal, the Universities of Leicester, Birmingham and Nottingham seek funding to establish an EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Innovative Metal Processing (CIMP) with substantial support from industrial partners. Over the lifetime of the CIMP we will train over 87 PhD researchers with the combination of experimental, analytical, computational, technology management and transferable skills that are needed to build industrial innovation.

The Centre will recruit students from different disciplines and provide them with coherent knowledge of a range of metal processing technologies and develop their expertise in solving challenging and industrially relevant problems so that they can be deployed by industry and become future leaders. The overall emphasis of the CDT's training programme will be on producing well-rounded leaders of the future, combining critical expertise in their discipline areas with a well-honed professional acumen, culminating in the ability to explore the wider context of their work and its potential impact, communicate their research to a range of different audiences, understand the commercial world and the applications of research, and work effectively with a range of partners both within and outside the academic community.

The main research aims are: (1) to provide a deep understanding of the physical phenomena during metal processing, (2) to develop analytical and computational models for metal processing, (3) to design and optimise reliable manufacturing processes to accelerate product development and (4) to design new processes for novel materials.

CIMP will build on the relationships the universities already have with our industrial partners and augment those relationships over the longer term by building a shared vision of researcher and continuing professional training and developing a deeper understanding of the challenges that drive innovation and impact in metal processing. Our marketing and recruiting activities will promote the profile of the metal processing industry in the UK and help attract a talented workforce. Our Summer School will also have an outreach activity "targeting" secondary school students to engage them in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and especially to inspire women and girls to pursue (STEM) as pathways to exciting and fulfilling careers.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.le.ac.uk